Long Term Care Insurance: When should I Buy?

Consumers interested in buying long term care insurance find out soon enough that there is a lot to think about. Most importantly, when are you going to purchase a policy? Once you answer this question, you can formulate a plan and move forward at the appropriate time.
Here are three details to keep in mind concerning your age and buying a long term care insurance policy:

  1. The younger you buy the less you will pay. A consumer under the age of 40 will pay approximately $800/year (depending on the coverage) whereas a buyer over 70 will pay in excess of $3k/year. If you are interested in playing it safe, both with your health and finances, you will want to think about purchasing long term care insurance at a young age.

  2. The younger you buy the earlier you will start paying for coverage. For instance, if you buy your policy at the age of 35 for $800/year, you would have paid $5k by the time you reach the age of 40. Is it worth paying this money when you are in an age group that usually doesn’t need long term care? This is the question you have to answer when making this important decision.

  3. Most people begin to think about long term care insurance when they approach retirement age. In fact, the average age at the time of purchasing a policy is 60.

How do I pay for my policy?

Once you make a decision that buying long term care insurance is a good idea, it is time to think about how you are going to pay for the coverage. Different policies and providers have different payment options. Generally speaking, you will pay for your policy monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Being able to choose between these options often times makes it easier to afford a policy. While some consumers have enough money to pay their premium once a year, others like to spread out the payments monthly so they are not parting with so much at the same time.

In most cases, you will pay the premium as long as you are not receiving benefits. Along with this, some premiums only require that you pay for a set period of time such as 15 or 20 years. At that point, you will be “paid up” but still able to receive benefits if need be. You may also find policies that only require you to pay until the age of 65.

The big question remains: when should you begin to shop for long term care insurance? If you want to follow the crowd, you will begin to think about buying a policy around the age of 60 – or the time you are set to retire.

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